Paul Butler (bishop)
|Bishop of Durham|
|Church||Church of England|
|Installed||22 February 2014|
|Other posts||Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham (2010–2014) |
Bishop of Southampton (2004–2009)
|Ordination||1983 (deacon); 1984 (priest)|
by Ronald Bowlby
|Consecration||24 June 2004|
by Rowan Williams
|Born||18 September 1955|
|Alma mater||University of Nottingham|
Paul Roger Butler (born 18 September 1955) is the Bishop of Durham in the Diocese of Durham. His election was confirmed on 20 January 2014 and he was installed and enthroned in Durham Cathedral on 22 February 2014. On 12 September 2013 it was announced that he had been appointed as Bishop-designate of Durham (succeeding Justin Welby.) He was previously Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham. He was installed at Southwell Minster on 27 February 2010. He served as the Bishop suffragan of Southampton in the Diocese of Winchester from 2004 until 2010.
Butler was educated at Kingston Grammar School and received a BA in English and history with honours from the University of Nottingham in 1977. He worked for the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) in their Bookstall Service (1978–1980) before training for Ordained ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford from 1980–1983.
He was ordained a deacon at Petertide (on 3 July) 1983 and a priest the following Petertide (1 July 1984), both times by Ronald Bowlby, Bishop of Southwark, in Southwark Cathedral. He served his curacy between 1983 and 1987 at All Saints with Holy Trinity in Wandsworth in the Diocese of Southwark. He then moved to Scripture Union to become Inner London Evangelist, holding this post until 1992. Between 1992 and 1994 he was Deputy Head of Mission at Scripture Union. Between 1987 and 1994, he was also a non-stipendiary minister at St Paul's East Ham in the Diocese of Chelmsford.
Butler then moved to the Diocese of Chelmsford. Between 1994 and 1997 he was priest-in-charge of St. Mary's Church, Walthamstow with St Stephen's and St Luke's, becoming Team Rector of Walthamstow in 1997 until 2004. He was also Area Dean of Waltham Forest from 2000 to 2004 and was appointed an honorary canon of Byumba in Rwanda in 2001.
He was consecrated by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at St Paul's Cathedral on 24 June 2004 and then installed at Winchester Cathedral on 4 July 2004. As well as being the Bishop of Southampton from 2004, Butler also acts as an "Advocate for Children" amongst the bishops of the Church of England and as chairman of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee.
Butler is known for his annual "prayer-walks" in which he spends a week each year walking round a part of his diocese praying with local people.
In the 2018 Lambeth Awards given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Paul Butler received the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation for service to the church in his role as Lead Bishop on Safeguarding.
Butler is concerned about Universal Credit and fears the two child limit will force children in families with more than two children into relative poverty. Paying benefit only for the first two choldren, Butler maintains will lead to financial struggle. Butler said, "February next year sees a big change. If people fall out of work for whatever reason they will not get the protection if they've got three children now. The predictions from people like the independent financial services are that the child limit is actually going to have the biggest impact on increasing the number of children living in relative poverty. I would love the government to have the willingness to revisit that whole policy." Butler is also concerned about monthly payments and about delays in paying benefit, he feels moving people from weekly payments to monthly payments is unrealistic.
Personal life and other work
He was a trustee of the Church Mission Society from 2000 to 2010 and its chairman from 2008 to 2010. He regularly visits Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, and visited Natal, South Africa in January 2011 as part of a diocesan visit.
He has also served the YMCA at Forest (1995–2004), Southampton (2004–09), Nottingham (2010–13), Teesdale (2014-present).
In 2012 he was appointed President of Scripture Union, the charity he had worked for from 1987 to 1994.
In March 2015, The Independent reported that Butler had reported former Conservative MP Enoch Powell as being involved with a Westminster paedophile ring in the 1980s (although there was no basis in fact for this allegation). Simon Heffer who has published a biography of Powell has described the allegation as a "monstrous lie" and criticised the Church of England's actions in "putting this smear into the public domain". The police have found no evidence to support the Bishop's allegation.
Safeguarding controversy and the Elliott Review
Butler was the bishop at the centre of the Elliott Review which led to damning headlines across UK media in March 2016. The review ushered in major change to the church's response to survivors of church sex abuse, and condemned as "reckless" the way in which Butler cut contact with a survivor following advice from insurers to limit liability. The highly critical report concluded there had been a string of "deeply disturbing" failures by senior Church of England figures, including the office of Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. It highlighted the need for all bishops to be urgently retrained. The church described the review "embarrassing and uncomfortable". The survivor called Butler's response "inadequate" and in a public letter urged him to lead a call for repentance across the House of Bishops.
He has a number of publications, including Reaching Children (1992), Reaching Families (1995) (both Scripture Union); Temptation & Testing (SPCK, 2007) and is a contributor to Through the Eyes of a Child (Church House 2009). His most recent publication is Living Your Confirmation (SPCK, 2012).
Titles and styles
- The Reverend Paul Butler (1983–2001)
- The Reverend Canon Paul Butler (2001–2004)
- The Right Reverend Paul Butler (2004–present)
- BBC News — New bishop appointed & 
- Diocese of Winchester — About Bishop Paul
- "Election of Paul Butler as 74th Bishop of Durham confirmed in service". Northern Echo. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Diocese of Southwell & Nottingham – Downing Street announces that the next Bishop of Durham is to be Paul Butler (Accessed 12 September 2013)
- CMS article on appointment to Southwell and Nottingham (Archived) (Announcement: 29 June 2009; archived 24 February 2012; archive accessed 16 December 2015)
- Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham Press Release — Drummers and dancers to welcome new Bishop Archived 8 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
- BBC News reports on Bishop Paul's appointment
- "Petertide ordinations". Church Times (#6281). 1 July 1983. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 3 May 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
- "Petertide ordinations". Church Times (#6334). 6 July 1984. p. 4. ISSN 0009-658X. Retrieved 3 May 2017 – via UK Press Online archives.
- Bishop Paul Butler speech to General Synod 2013 as Chair of the Churches National Safeguarding Committee
- Bishop Paul Butler Prayer Walk in Southwell Diocese 2013 Archived 6 September 2013 at Archive.today
- "The Archbishop of Canterbury's Awards" (PDF). Lambeth Palace. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "Services to the Anglican Communion acknowledged in latest Lambeth Awards". Anglican Communion News Service. 6 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "Margaret Holness receives Lambeth award". Church Times. 13 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
- "Lambeth Awards: why is the CofE patting itself on the back over Safeguarding?". Archbishop Cranmer. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
- Bishop of Durham 'deeply concerned' over universal credit plan BBC
- Number 10 – Suffragan See of Southampton (archived)
- Bishop Paul Butler Natal Visit – blog 
- Bishop Paul Butler president of Scripture Union
- Scargill Movement Patrons
- The Ear Foundation
- Harriet Sherwood (15 March 2016). "Damning report reveals Church of England failure to act on abuse". The Guardian.
- Sean O'Neill (15 March 2016). "Welby's staff ignored abuse to save money". The Times.[permanent dead link]
- Martin Evans (15 March 2016). "Archbishop of Canterbury's office criticised for 'ignoring' abuse complaints". The Telegraph.
- Tim Wyatt (18 March 2016). "Abuse case turns spotlight on to flawed C of E safeguarding practices". Church Times.
- "Dozens of Church of England officials ignored sex abuse victim 'for decades' despite being told of horrific abuse at hands of paedophile clergyman". Daily Mail. 16 March 2016.
- "Church of England figures ignored sadistic abuse of 15-year-old boy by senior priest for 40 years, report says". The Independent. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- Ruth Gledhill (15 March 2016). "Sex abuse case review highlights damning Church of England failures". Christian Today.
- "Senior clergy must be retrained to deal with sex abuse disclosures". The Guardian. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Church of England clergy need 'systematic retraining' on dealing with sex abuse reports". International Business Times. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- "Church of England Rocked by 'Deeply Disturbing' Sex Abuse Report". Christian Post. 16 March 2016.
- "Bishop of Durham 'needs retraining' after victim claims his response to abuse claim was inadequate". Northern Echo.
- "Joe's letter to the House of Bishops of the Church of England". Surviving Church. Stephen Parsons. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
- "Bishops must repent for inaction on child abuse, says survivor". Church Times. 19 May 2016. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
|Church of England titles|
| Bishop of Southampton
| Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham
| Bishop of Durham